Second part of the documentary series "Out of Control" reveals further intrigues

Destruction of old-growth forests in Romania: logging devastates parts of Semenic National Park, too ++ EuroNatur and Agent Green: unacceptable incompetence by state forest administration ”Romsilva” and director of national park ++ Documentary series about virgin forests makes a great stir

Large-scale deforestation in the beech forests of the Semenic Mountains © Matthias Schickhofer / EuroNatur

Bucharest/Radolfzell. An investigative video published by Romanian NGO Agent Green exposes scandalous devastations of old-growth forest in Domogled National Park by massive logging, which had even been officially authorised. However, the responsible state forest administration Romsilva issued a media statement playing down the scale of destruction of old-growth forest, speaking of allegedly “necessary logging”. In neighbouring Semenic-Cheile Caraşului National Park, which was established to protect the EU’s largest primeval beech forest, deforestations already encroached on a strictly protected nature reserve.

Gabriel Paun, president of Agent Green, is heavily criticising the state forest administration, which is in charge of nearly all Romanian national parks. Paun expects environment minister Gavrilescu to intervene: “Obviously, Romsilva is neither willing nor able to protect our most important natural treasures. Instead, state forest officials seem to be interested primarily in profit, even with regard to the national parks’ paradise forests. Brutal deforestations are simply being covered up or legalised.”
When the Semenic national park’s advisory board spoke up against nature destruction in 2016, its members were dismissed, its former chair said.

A new investigative video by Agent Green shows the forest director justifying the brutal deforestations in Romsilva’s Semenic National Park by claiming that thinning out the primeval forests was necessary to support rejuvenation. The disclosure was made as part of the campaign “SaveParadiseForests”. It was broadcasted in by Antena 3, a Romanian private TV channel, and widely discussed in the public.

Gabriel Schwaderer, CEO of nature conservation foundation EuroNatur, is shocked by the destruction of this European natural heritage: “It’s absolutely unacceptable that Europe’s last big primeval forests in Romania are being wiped out by state institutions. The incompetence of state-employed national park forest officials is unbearable: Old-growth forests with deadwood are not ‘sick’ and do not need chainsaws to ‘get light’.”

Gabriel Schwaderer expects to European Commission to intervene immediately, like it did in the case of Białowieża primeval forest in Poland. “The scale of destruction is breathtaking. In Romania, we are confronted with the worst nature conservation crisis in present-day Europe. If Europe continues to just stand aside and look, these forests will be largely lost within two to three years.”


Background information:

The documentary series “Out of Control” is part of the campaign “SaveParadiseForests”. This international campaign aims at protecting the most valuable primeval forests of the Carpathians, particularly in Romania. It is jointly run and coordinated by EuroNatur and Agent Green.
Find more information at www.saveparadiseforests.org.

AGENT GREEN is a Romanian non-governmental organisation founded in 2009 to protect biodiversity and the environment. The organisation aims to investigate environmental crime, to strategically expose it, and to campaign for nature protection and the welfare of future generations.

Link to episode #2 “Semenic National Park”: https://vimeo.com/245343192
Film synopsis "Semenic National Park"


Press contact:

Anja Arning, E-Mail: anja.arning(at)euronatur.org, phone: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 13
Gabriel Paun, E-Mail: gabriel.paun(at)agentgreen.org, phone: +43 6641850717
Andrei Ciurcanu, E-Mail: andrei.ciurcanu(at)agentgreen.org

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